Published On: Wed, Aug 22nd, 2018

Joint court gives prosecutor the green light to prosecute St. Maarten politician

Theo HeyligerPHILIPSBURG, WILLEMSTAD - The Joint Court of Justice has granted the Prosecutor’s Office authority to prosecute Leader of the United Democrats Member of Parliament Theodore Heyliger in connection with the Catfish investigation on Tuesday.

Heyliger was heard behind closed doors on August 7 and is suspected of having committed bribery between 2012-2013. The date of the hearing has not yet been determined.

The Prosecutor’s Office needed permission from the Joint Court to bring criminal charges against a sitting MP. Heyliger has never been arrested, but he was questioned by National Detective Agency (Landsrecherche) officials on August 7, 2017, in connection with the criminal case “Catfish”.

The Catfish investigation started in March 2013 after former MP Romain Laville filed an official complaint of attempted bribery to “jump ship.” A number of witnesses have been interrogated and important documents analysed. The leader of United People’s Party was interrogated for about five hours.

Heyliger declined to comment about the decision from the court on Tuesday and said he will be discussing his case with his lawyers.

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